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September 28, 2023 · Bob Gass

Pray for the desire to forgive 

“Turn thou me, and I shall be turned.” Jeremiah 31:18 

When we have been hurt, our first instinct is to retaliate. We know it’s wrong because the Bible says we must forgive in order to be forgiven (see Mark 11:25). We also know that bitterness can hurt us physically and emotionally. But sometimes we can’t bring ourselves to forgive, so we keep wrestling with it in our mind. Stop and think what happens in a wrestling match. You focus on your opponent, clinging to them and trying to control them. Your aim is to put them on the mat and bring them into submission, and it requires all your energy. Plus, you risk getting hurt in the process. The only real power you have over someone who hurts you is the power of forgiveness. So for your own sake, forgive them and move on! Even though you don’t feel like forgiving, pray, “Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.” In other words, “Lord, make me willing to forgive.” The old saying “To err is human, to forgive is divine” is the truth. Now, small offenses can be forgiven quickly, but big ones require divine assistance. And you can have it: “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13 NLT). Yes, you may want your offender to suffer, but when your greatest desire is to please the Lord, He will give you the grace to forgive. When you realize the blessings God has in store for you in the future, you will refuse to spend another moment stuck in the past.

Bible in a year: Nehemiah 8-10

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